Back on track

It’s been a while since my last post here.
This is because I got stuck.
Ever since I came back from Poland last summer, I spent at least 30 mins/day learning Polish. Most days it added up to about 2-3 hrs. I know that compared to real language nerds this isn’t a lot, but nevertheless it led to some kind of burn-out.
I kept up with this consistency until late February. Then the winter term ended and, and so did my regular schedule at the slavic institute.
During those 8 months of studying, I always tried to go for diversity. I read women’s magazines – you never know when you’ll need the polish word for “ovary” –  and stuff like Polityka, I watched Talkshows and some episodes of “Czas honoru” (which revealed that german nazi officers apparently spoke some excellent Polish). I listened to Radio for hours and went to conversation classes. I wrote some stuff in Polish, and I listened to several Podcasts. Oh, and I went through flashcards and a vocabulary program and, in addition to that, picked about 1,000 sentences for Anki of which I revised about 200-300.
All in all, I made quite some progress (not quite astonishing given all the time and effort, after all). However, there’s still much room to improve.

But I just needed a break. So I stopped studying Polish for some weeks, and I didn’t feel bad about it – because I know that as soon as I try to force myself to do this stuff, I may start to dislike it.

So I lost my Polish mojo for some time, but that’s okay because I knew that sooner or later, it’d come back.
And so it did indeed when I learnt about the “Read More or Die” Tadoku contest, which is a contest on reading as much as you can in your target language.
I decided to give it a try and read the first part of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy in Polish. By now I’ve reached page 80, and it’s quite a pleasant surprise that I understand way more vocabulary then I did back when I started reading books in English.
So I guess that by now I understand more than 80% of the words, and because of the modular structure of the Polish language, it’s quite easy to figure out new words. (Reading “jadłowstręt” in a paragraph about just how skinny someone is, thinking “jadło” – sounds like some form of “jeść” – “to eat”, oh and “wstręt” means something like “disgust”, so apparently it’s some form of anorexia. Piece of cake, so to speak. Ahem.)

So all in all, I’m back on track. And that’s great!

Published in: on April 5, 2011 at 10:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

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